Liverpool

Hillsborough families want Kenny Dalglish knighthood

Hillsborough service 2011
Image caption A minute's silence was held at 1506 BST, the exact time the game was abandoned 22 years ago

Relatives of Liverpool fans who died in the Hillsborough disaster have called for Kenny Dalglish to be knighted.

Former Lord Mayor of Liverpool Steve Rotherham MP told fans at an Anfield memorial service that the families have asked him to table an Early Day Motion.

The motion would request the Queen to knight the Liverpool manager.

Dalglish was manager at the time of the disaster when 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death at an FA Cup semi-final on 15 April 1989.

Dalglish helped ensure the club was represented at all of the fans' funerals and attended many of them in person.

The former Scotland player became Liverpool boss for the second time in January and this year's memorial service was the first he had attended the memorial service as Liverpool boss since 1990.

Mr Rotherham said the motion was "so that on all our behalf the King of the Kop can become Sir Kenny".

Justice call

The announcement was met with cheers and a standing ovation from the Liverpool faithful and chants of "Kenny".

Image caption Kenny Dalglish became Liverpool manager for a second time in January

Ten thousand people attended a memorial service at Anfield to mark the Hillsborough disaster.

Ninety-five Liverpool fans were crushed to death during the team's tie with Nottingham Forest at the stadium in Sheffield.

The disaster's 96th victim was fan Tony Bland, who died in hospital on 3 March 1993, after the Law Lords ruled that artificial food and hydration could be stopped by medical staff at the Airedale Hospital, Yorkshire.

A minute's silence was held at 1506 BST, the exact time the game was abandoned 22 years ago.

'Heroic fans'

Before the service Dalglish said: "It's a sad day and it's a day etched in the minds of everyone connected with the club."

Mr Rotherham said the families of the 96 were a step closer to justice since the establishment of an independent panel in 2009 to examine previously unseen documents relating to Hillsborough.

He added: "To those that attack Liverpool supporters - I will never tire of reminding them that the fans were the real heroes in 1989, not the villains."

The crowd later chanted the name of former manager Rafael Benitez when Margaret Aspinall, chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group which organised the event, thanked him for his continued support.

Earlier writer Jimmy McGovern earned a standing ovation from the packed Kop when he delivered a reading called "To the Families" which ended: "For 22 years you have watched judges putting the niceties of law above justice itself, and still you have battled on."

Mrs Aspinall, whose 18-year-old son was attending his first away match when he was caught in the crush, said she was "annoyed" by talk of bringing back terraces.

"We will never ever want standing ever again," she added.

Current Liverpool squad members attended the service along with former players such as Ian Rush.

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